Revelation Upon Revelation
Message on The Lord in Revelation Chapter 1
All scripture is from NASB
For an introduction to this series and an Introduction to the Book of Revelation, please refer to Part 1 as this will give some useful background to this series.
Rev 1:6 “and He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father – to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.”
First of all, for those with the AV, you will have “kings and priests.” Christians are never called kings. There are two revelations of the Lord Jesus Christ found in this verse. Both are so powerful that John has to exclaim at the end of them – “to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.” So, what is it that John has received that caused Him to do that?
* The first is that the Lord has included and incorporated all His own children into a kingdom. They are members one of another in this heavenly kingdom. The entry is very clear in the Bible. It is through faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross, being born again into the heavenly kingdom. We are born into a natural kingdom, and we must be born into a heavenly kingdom. Paul reveals to us the great teaching about the Church, the Assembly of the redeemed. The Lord spoke of the “one flock.” Paul mentions being built up into a spiritual house. We are all members of The Bride and the great Pearl, priceless (another study). We are the household of God. They are all the same thing, just beautiful aspects to show us how marvelous it all is.
This verse, by inference, is proclaiming Jesus Christ as King, and we are His subjects. He is the great Melchizadek, King and Priest, eternal, who offered His own sacrifice at Calvary. He was the rejected and despised King among His own people. He is the King of love for His Church. He will be the coming King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He comes as King of the Jews and will be King over the whole earth (Zech 14).
* John – and remember he is speaking to seven churches – says we are priests; we are priests to His God and Father. What does that mean? The primary aspect is that priests have access into the presence of God. The work and ministry of the Old Testament priesthood sheds light on this. Priests were to offer up sacrifices, intercede on behalf of others, minister in the presence of God, and make communal decisions such as in legal and health matters. John does not use the term without it having an important significance to us. We are priests.
* Take the first aspect – that of offering up sacrifice. Unlike the Old Testament priest, the New Testament priest no longer offers (animal) sacrifices for others but, indeed, he does offer up sacrifice; he offers up himself. Let us look at these verses – Rom 12:1-2, “I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice acceptable to God which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.”
* The second aspect – intercession. There are many verses in support of this one, but I will select only one passage. 1 Tim 2:1-4. “First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men; for kings and all who are in authority, in order that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
* The third aspect of ministering in God’s presence is what we should be doing all the time as we serve Him. We are the kingdom of priests, and He is our King over that kingdom, the Head of the Church.
Rev 1:6, “And He has made us to be a kingdom, priests to His God and Father [Head of the Church. The Glorious King; King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is King of His priests, the Head of the Church] – to Him be the glory and the dominion forever and ever [He is the glorious One and the Ruler forever]. Amen.”
Rev 1:7 “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen.”
This area of the word is not that well understood today except by those who understand eschatology. Sadly, Revelation is a closed book for so many, and church leaders steer away from it. However, this verse matches the Matthew passage – Matt. 24:29-30, “But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory.”
Before I expand on this, I would comment on one phrase, “every eye will see Him” because, in the Rapture, it is a secret coming just for His own, His Bride, and not for the world. The world will not see that Rapture, only the results of it. That phrase proves this is not Rapture-related as some try to do. Again, the words, “even those who pierced Him” means the Jews – He does not return to the Jews at the Rapture. It is grating to hear preachers use this verse in speaking about the Rapture, but too many have some muddled amalgamation of the two comings anyway. In recent postings on RR, I have done Matthew 24 and Revelation 6 and a couple of Rapture posts.
There are two comings of the Lord still to happen. There is the Rapture, which is the coming for the Church when Christ comes to claim His Bride, and after that will be the Second Coming corresponding with the 19th chapter of Revelation and many Old Testament prophetic passages, especially those related to “The DAY of the LORD” (JEHOVAH). The one here in verse 7 is the Second Coming. However, the purpose of the Second Coming is to deliver Israel at the Battle of Armageddon from the armies about to annihilate the nation, and to come as Israel’s Messiah and the coming King. To see that briefly, we shall just look at the Zechariah passage –
Zech 14:2-4, “For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.”
* You see there in Zechariah, the Coming One, the Messiah, coming to His people as their Deliverer.
Look again at verse 7: “even those who pierced Him.” Isaiah 52:14, “Just as many were astonished at you, My people, so His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.”
Isaiah 53:4, “Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. All of us like sheep have gone astray; Each of us has turned to his own way but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
He is the Suffering Saviour pierced for the sins of the world. Even very pertinent to that is “even those who pierced Him.” That phrase indicated His coming is very much Jerusalem-orientated.
* The third part of verse 7 says, “and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen.” It is correct that those He came to save and who put Him to death should be the first to mourn, and it will be so. Zech 12:8-11, “In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them. And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.”
There is such a revelation coming for Israel when the scales will fall, and they will see their Messiah as He is. That realization will include guilt and remorse and a penitent confession that it was their people who crucified their very own Messiah.
Rev 1:7, “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him [the coming Messiah to His people Israel. Israel’s Redeemer. Israel’s Deliverer], even those who pierced Him [the Suffering One of Isaiah 53, the crucified One], and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him [the Realized One, the Wounded One – Zech when they mourn]. Even so, Amen.”
Rev 1:8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
We know from verse 17 that this is the Lord Jesus speaking. He declares Himself to be Alpha and Omega – the first and the last. We will connect with two passages of Scripture, the first when Moses asked God what was His name – Exodus 3:14, “And God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM,’ and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” This is very precious. This is the One who was in the beginning and was the Word who was God. The beautiful thing is that He is THE I AM to every generation. For Adam, He was the I AM. For Moses, He was the I AM. For Noah, He was the I AM. For Abraham He was the I AM. For all of us now He is the I AM. This is the eternal God, the “I AM” in every generation in the present. What do you have to fear! He is the God of the present. He is Almighty God – Psalm 91:1, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.”
The second passage is a favorite of mine and already touched on – John 1:1-2, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. John 1:14, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
The Almighty is the Word of God from the beginning who became Jesus incarnate, full of grace and truth. This is the One John was seeing in His appearance to John on Patmos (I don’t think it was a vision). He is Alpha and Omega. As the first and last letter of the Greek alphabet, He encloses every letter between. He is the all-encompassing One, the ONE who is all in all. Paul speaks of His fullness – John 1:15, “John bore witness of Him, and cried out saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has a higher rank than I, for He existed before me.’”
John 1:16, “Of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.” Jesus is the Almighty, Almighty God. This is but one of the many passages proving the deity of the Lord Jesus. The divinity of Christ is done more thoroughly in verse 18 in a later posting.
Rev 1:8, “I am the Alpha and the Omega” [Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last], says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” [the Almighty; the Eternal God; the Word made flesh; the I AM].
Rev 1:9-10, “I, John, your brother and fellow partaker in the tribulation and kingdom and perseverance which are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet.”
This is Sunday and not “the day of the Lord,” which is something altogether different. When the Lord speaks, we must take notice. His is the voice of authority. Many times the apostle heard that voice as it were, when the disciples walked with Him, a trumpet of authority over disease and death and the satanic, demonic world. “Take up your bed and walk!” “Lazarus, come forth!” “And Jesus rebuked him, saying, ‘Be quiet, and come out of him!’” What a voice of authority it will be at the Rapture when the Lord calls us up to Him in the clouds. Those rapture words, I believe, will be “Come up here!” taken from the rapture verse in Rev 4:1. His is the voice of authority and command.
“The Lord’s day” is Sunday and not the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday. The Seventh Day Adventists through the writings of the false prophet, Ellen White, make the claim that it was the Roman Catholic church that changed Saturday to Sunday, and even claims this as the mark of the beast. It is very clear that the Lord’s day is Sunday, the first day of the week, and the Acts and Church history make that very plain. Sunday is the day of the resurrection.
Rev 1:10, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like the sound of a trumpet” [The Lord, the voice of authority over all the earth – the supreme authority. Here He summons John to hear the command set out in verse 11].
Rev 1:11-12, “saying, ‘Write in a book what you see, and send it to the seven churches: to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.’ I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me, and having turned I saw seven golden lampstands.”
This voice, as the following verses show, is the Lord of the churches, Jesus Christ. He is there in the middle of the lampstands (from the next verse), but this one mentions them. The lampstands are there to provide light, but they cannot do that of themselves. They need a light source, and we know that is the olive oil that provides the means of light. These lampstands are the churches (the seven churches) which are to function as the light of the world, each one as a tiny glimmer of The Light of the World. The church is meant to reflect that glorious light of the Saviour but so many of them have wicks that are broken and missing and defective and are useless in being a witness in the world. They give no light; they are so dull in some cases that it is black.
The lamps are fed by the olive oil, a symbol of the Holy Spirit; and that is the cause of so many ineffective churches – the Holy Spirit is missing. He is grieved and banished, and churches don’t follow the word of God which was given by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. The Lord of the churches spoke to John and he listened. If churches listened to the true Voice, then what a difference that would make. There is also an application to the personal believer. He and she need to be a lampstand enriched by the olive oil (the Holy Spirit) to shine brightly for the Light of the World. How many remember that Sunday School chorus – “This little light of mine; I’m going to let it shine”?
THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST SO FAR IN REVELATION 1 (Verses 6-12)
Verse 6 – Head of the Church. The Glorious King; King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He is King of His priests, the Head of the Church. He is the glorious One and the Ruler forever.
Verse 7 – The coming Messiah to His people Israel. Israel’s Redeemer. Israel’s Deliverer, the Suffering One of Isaiah 53, the Crucified One), the Realized One, the Wounded One.
Verse 8 – Alpha and Omega; the First and the Last. The Almighty; the Eternal God; the Word made flesh; the I AM.
Verse 10 – The Lord, the voice of authority over all the earth – the supreme authority.
To be continued in part 3.